Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach to Life

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Each year my family adopts a theme to live by….in 2014 our theme was ‘Living with a Grateful Heart’. We made it a daily practice to take inventory of all of the love and goodness around us, and before long we began to realize how abundantly blessed we are. Through this process, I also began to realize that there were too many distractions in our lives, both physical and emotional, and that it was time to employ a minimalist approach to life by eliminating the excess and the unnecessary ‘clutter’. This would allow us to focus on what we really care about.
These thoughts gave way to our family theme for 2015 which is

Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach to Life.

Minimalist approach to life

A minimalist approach to life doesn’t mean engaging in a spartan existence of deprivation and barren white walls. What it does mean is that we make sure that we are living each and every day with purposeful intent and that we remove anything that interferes with our most important pursuits. During the next 12 months, my family is going to embark on an adventure that may be difficult to encompass, but that will ultimately lead to a richer more fulfilling existence. We will work to completely shift gears,and leave behind our consumer driven lifestyle and embrace a way of life that will help us discover our resourcefulness and ingenuity while giving us more time and space to deepen our relationships with each other and ourselves. It will be an ever evolving pursuit without concrete rules, but the intention will remain simple and constant: Focus on what matters and remove anything that creates clutter within that plan.

I have spent some time piecing together this minimalist manifesto, but it’s just the beginning and I’m sure that as the days go by I will make some amendments. In the meantime these are the guidelines we will live by, and I welcome you to embark on this journey as well.

Minimalist Living Heart

Day 1 has come to an end and I’ve managed to remove 2 large bags of clothing out of my wardrobe. I didn’t expect to feel emotional about my process of elimination but some of my pieces have been with me for over 20 years. It’s funny how many memories I’ve attached to articles of clothing. Alas, I did it and I’m ready to tackle more clutter tomorrow.

Day 2 Today we got out of the house and into nature.  We regularly play in the forest but I usually pack shovels, compasses, rope and just about anything that you can think of to facilitate L’s imagination.  I decided to leave it all behind and allow him to find pleasure in the gifts of the forest.  We went with another family and hiked deep into the woods and all the way to a beautiful riverside beach.  The kids had a blast making sand castles and using whatever they could find on the forest floor to embellish their designs.  They climbed trees and played in the hollows of the redwoods and mimicked the call of coyotes.  The lack of structure and equipment allowed their minds to creatively engage with each other and the environment.  It was a beautiful day.

 

Minimalist Manifesto Day 3

Day 3 L went back to school today which gives me several hours to work on #1 and #2 but I decided that today I will work on the clutter that weighs heavy on my mind.  I’ve had items on my to do list that I’ve been putting off forever.  Tedious things like making medical appointments, mailing packages etc…..  Today my goal is to eliminate at least 5 of those items.  Wish me luck!

 

Day 4 I went to Costco which is synonymous with Anti-Minimalism but I managed to get in and out without making any impulsive acquisitions. I wasn’t even tempted. I did however, notice the carts around me overflowing with goods and sundries and I wondered what percentage of the purchases in that store come from impulsive consumerism. That led to my next thought which was “aside from consumables, can I survive 2 weeks without purchasing anything new? That means no art supplies!”
It’ll be hard, but I think I can do it. Starting Monday the 12 and ending Monday the 26th
I’d love some company on this challenge!

 

Day 5 It was a busy day. I attempted to sell a few of my party dresses at Crossroads Trading company. I waited for the buyer for over 30 minutes and then she only bought one dress for $4.15! I will never do that again. I would much rather it go to someone in need. Afterwards my Mom and I headed over to Sacred Heart and donated several bags of L’s clothes as well as a few pieces from my husband’s closet. Our final stop was at St. James park where I handed out the last of our surplus blankets as well as a couple of bags of warm clothing that my friend Ann donated. Thank You Ann. While we were at the park I encouraged a gentleman to take as much as he wanted and he said “thanks but I don’t like to have more than I need”
Thank you Mom for helping me today.

Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach Day 6

Day 6– The Toy Closet
Today was a hard day.
Over the last 7.5 years we have acquired quite the lot of toys. I’ve given much of it away to friends and neighbors but there were a few items that I kept in case another baby came into our lives.
The idea of giving away the last of the toddler toys broke my heart. Not because I’m sentimentally attached to these things but because giving them away is like giving up hope on having another baby. I don’t think I’m ready to give up hope for another baby but I am ready to give up the toys and if a baby does come into our lives, we’ll be too busy exploring meadows, splashing in puddles and making mud pies to play with toys.
Tonight my heart is at ease knowing that while I’d love to have another baby my family is already complete.

Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach Day 7

Day 7: I survived the first week! I’m looking forward to peeling away more layers in the upcoming weeks and months. I’m so excited that some of you are interested in taking the two weeks shopping free challenge! I look forward to hearing your stories

FOLLOW MY UPDATES FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR

Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach to Life Continued

You can follow our journey here on Mosswood Connections as well as on my other Facebook page

Plentiful Living with a Minimalist Approach

 

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53 Comments



  1. Great post! We have a lot of unwanted stuff, I need to start decluttering. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. These are such true words. I’ve come to this conclusion myself. I’ve found that excess stuff can literally change the energy in my home, and even my spirit. Free of stuff = Free spirit. Great reminder!

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  3. Love your minimalist list/approach. Hope we can do the same thing. Awesome!

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  4. Decluttering is so important. Reduces stress and keeps things tidy. We need to more of that this year.

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  5. i follow minimalist principals! Less is more.. thats so true! I just love simple life, simple design, simple on everything

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    1. Do you find that keeping it simple enriches the rest of your life?

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  6. The clutter I have in my house is driving me crazy! I really need to just purge everything!

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  7. This is true. The less the better! If there’s too much stuff in your life, whether it’s material things or not, there’s just more things to be stressed about. We all have to learn how to de-clutter from time to time.

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  8. I just love your Minimalist Manifesto and I’m glad that I’m already doing some of them. Thanks for sharing this.

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  9. I’ve been actively decluttering this summer over here too. It’s exhausting but totally exhilarating when it’s done!

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  10. I so need to do this. I am trying not to be so much of a stuff person. I am going to take some of your advice.

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  11. love this idea! I’ve been working on getting rid of things we don’t use/need too. With me staying home with our twins now it isn’t really feasible and I have to say I don’t miss a lot of it.

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  12. Wow. This is really inspiring. I love that you have a theme that you live by each year. We really need to adopt this theme as well. Our house is being overrun with stuff, and we just need to clear the clutter. Thank you!

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  13. I have way too much clutter in my life. I would love to do a major purge.

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  14. What a fab frugal idea. I am aiming to live with less things this year. Thank you for joining in with #FabulouslyFrugal this week. Please do come back on Sunday to see if you have been features and join in again.

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  15. I consider myself a minimalist and let me say, it comes with much freedom. My word this year has been “peace.” You will feel that after you purge all the extras from your life. Great read!

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    1. “Peace” is a great word for the year. I think we will add that to our list.

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  16. I love your ‘Manifesto.’ What a great goal for 2015. I look forward to seeing how it progresses for your family in the coming months.

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    1. So far it is going well. Hopefully, we can maintain our minimalist approach to life.

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  17. I love your theme this year. I would really like to try to do the same this year. After moving last year, I realized how much junk we have accumulated over the years.

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    1. Isn’t it amazing how quickly stuff just piles up? Especially when you have kids.

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  18. A great post and a very good start! The thing I find most interesting about minimalizing is that it feels so good. But it’s so hard to do. Why is that?

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  19. I love this — I need to practice this with my family. I purged a lot of things last night and was surprised on how relaxed it made me.

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    1. It is funny how doing the work of getting rid of things actually feels so good.

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  20. I love this! My family and I need to declutter this year too. I have pinned to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board. I hope to see you next week at the link up.

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  21. Great progress! I’m working on that too! 4 bags donated, a couple small areas organized…..I’m like I’ve had this extra coffee pot since college….why am I holding on to it? Other stuff listed on Craigslist and Ebay to sell. It feels so good to get rid of “stuff”. Keep it up! and keep encouraging me to do the same please! 🙂

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    1. Wow! We are proud of you. Keep going, it will feel very freeing!

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  22. I love this post! I’ve gotten into meditation over the years, and the simple act of breathing is so fulfilling…it always makes me feel like the “stuff” in my life is overwhelming and unnecessary. I can’t wait to hear how your year continues!

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    1. We love to meditate but it has been difficult to be consistent. We do remember to take deep breaths when we need to. So impressive that you have added meditation into your life!

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  23. I like that phrase, the clutter that weighs heavy on my mind. Really, that’s what clutter does to me in general. Keeps me from thinking in an organized, healthy way. I hope you’re successful!

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  24. Over seeing room cleaning right now, and contemplating how to put some of this into practice for my kids. I look forward to reading about your discoveries.

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  25. I love that you’ve made the manifesto a family thing and I love the words “purposeful intent”. So powerful. I chose a word for 2015 but I would love to try this and get my kids involved too! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

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    1. What word did you choose for 2015?

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  26. I really want to try something like this.. we have SO MUCH crap.. and we really have NO need for it! This sounds like a great plan to have for the year.. I look forward to following your family for the year!

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  27. I absolutely love your previous goal and your current one. Your conditions on how to decide if something stays or gos are going to be applied to my household now. Definitely am feeling inspired after reading this!!! What a meaningful post <3

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    1. Thanks, that is awesome! Inspiring someone is a huge compliment.

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  28. Great plan! A little over a year ago my husband and I decided to change our lives: move closer to our families, buy a smaller house and focus on less things, but more important things. I’m so happy we did!

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    1. Melissa, was that a difficult change for you or did you find it liberating?

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    1. Our problem is the clutter keeps coming back that is why we want to try trading or borrowing from others.

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  29. Your manifesto really tackles what minimalism is about. On my blog I’ve put in in these words: Minimalist living is to accept the limited capacities of time and energy in life and accordingly set value on quality rather than quantity.
    The first two points are probably what most people think minimalism is. They are done once and then it takes little effort to maintain it. The third one is an inner shift in awareness, the forth an outer change of habits. They might take some time to put into practice, but I think once the attitude has changed, everything falls into place.
    Point five is a struggle and a steady process. But I love it 🙂
    And the last two are simply great reasons why this is good not just for ourselves, but also for others.
    Great post, I hope you have a fantastic year 2015!

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the feedback. We will have to check out your blog. 🙂

      Reply

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